Social Media and the Non-Fitness Enthusiast.

Happy Tuesday!  Wow, I have been so busy the past few days and have another killer week ahead of me.  That being said, I REALLY wanted to linkup with Jessica Joy and Jill for #DishTheFit, but did not have the time to really carve out the best post for it. This week’s optional topic is “Conversations with NON-FITNESS Enthusiasts“.   What I did do was go back through my archives and found the following post about “fitness motivation”.  Now, it may not be along the lines of what the rest of our #FitFam will be talking about today, but I think that it’s an important element of dealing with newbies or non-fitness folks in a social media world filled with fitness enthusiasts.  What I am talking about in this post is the type of messages the fitness community can send out that may hinder any chance of motivating the non-enthusiast population.

I would love to hear thoughts and feelings about this topic.

Fitness Motivation:  What Works, What Doesn’t.

Motivation:  The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. As defined, motivation, can be twisted and turned any which way to suit the person who is doing the “motivating”.  Think back to a time when you were motivated to make a decision:  What made you change your attitude about something?  Were negative or positive messages used to help you make your decision?  When it comes to fitness motivation, what kinds of messages help (or harm) you the most?
Happy Monday!    I hope that you all had a great holiday and/or holidays last week!  So, this week is the end of the road for 2014.  January 1st is a clean slate for many, many people, and this year will be no different – I am sure of it!  Being that it is the beginning of a new year (and a time when people are looking to make positive changes)there is no end to the messages and advertising that will be thrown our way regarding self help   However, not all of the messages that will be delivered over the next week will be conveyed with the tactful sensitivity they should be.

fitness humor

they found this post humorous, do you?

The above photo really upset me when I saw it.  Not only did this post make me really upset, it actually made me “unfollow” this account on Instagram.  This account labeled this photo as “fitness humor” while trying to sell their product which promotes weight loss.   I guess I probably wouldn’t have found this post as offensive if I hadn’t seen this one from the same account just days earlier:

apparently pregnancy is okay to '#bodyshame

apparently pregnancy is okay to #bodyshame

This is NOT okay!  I mean, maybe I am being overly sensitive, but I find this incredibly insenstive on SO many levels.  Do I think that the company behind these posts are bad people?  No, I’m not saying that.  However, I do think that you have to be very careful how you choose to “motivate” people.  See, I was always taught (and admittedly, I haven’t always FOLLOWED this mantra) “you can’t build yourself up by tearing others down.”

I work with people to make them healthy above and beyond any other benefit.  In fact, when I became a certified personal trainer I agreed to a code of ethics which places clients health, safety, and privacy first.  Never, anywhere in my training for any certification I hold, was I encouraged to belittle another person as a form of motivation.  I guess that is why I found these posts to be so offensive.  These messages are everywhere and, I feel, any motivation being pulled out of them is from the attitude of shaming they promote.    It’s no secret that we need an attitude makeover as a society, because we all spend too much time comparing ourselves to others, ripping ourselves apart, and feeling like we’re not good enough.   How can you blame us when messages like these are thrown our way all day, every single day?!

 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps5ea9b9b7.jpg

 

Making another person feel badly about what they look like and who they are is NEVER going to be the correct way to motivate them to feel better about themselves.  Period.  The issue of obesity is just part of this.  We’re told day in and day out what is beautiful, attractive, and acceptable whether it’s our body type, race, gender, or any other characteristic of ourselves.  I hope that one day those of us out there trying to “help” others better themselves focus on all the things that are great about you as a motivation to take care of yourself, not as a way to bully you into finding yourself unacceptable so you’ll make changes.

Again, this issue is SO much bigger (pardon the pun) than the surface I am scratching, but change comes from within each of us.  One person at a time, we can fight back and start to define beauty, acceptance and most importantly HEALTH the way it should be defined.   To hell with what a lingerie company says is sexy or how a weight loss supplement company tells you is how you should look; they don’t get to decide how you feel about yourself.  Only one person is in charge of you, and that’s you!

I am wishing everyone out there a happy, healthy, and empowering 2015.  Live without limits and remember, above all else, you’re amazing!

Do you ever see “fitness motivation” memes or posts that really “grind your gears”? Do you think people should take them with a grain of salt or do you think they really can be harmful and hurtful (regardless of their intention)? Join the conversation with Jessica and Jill and #DishTheFit!

xoxo
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26 Comments

  1. February 10, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    I have a few friends who follow Instagram accounts that share “funny” memes about dieting, exercising, over eating etc. But really, if you step back and think about it, it’s not nice! I can’t wrap my head around the amount of shaming that takes place on the internet. It’s nice to have communities like this (Fit Dish, SPA etc) that remove that and replace it with support. Great post!

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      Thank you so much! Yeah, I find the diet and exercise memes to sometimes be so hurtful. Like I said, I don’t think people intend for them to be demeaning or hurtful, but they really can be. Thank you for reading! 🙂

  2. February 10, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    I’m with ya! I see things that make me absolutely crazy sometimes. Personally, I take it with a grain of salt (yea, I don’t like it but I don’t get hung up on it) but I generally also unfollow these types of accounts. I’d rather see positive images that inspire change rather than negative ones. I guess that’s the beauty of social media… it’s so easy to unfollow the negative stuff. 🙂

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 2:11 pm

      Amen. Unfollow is a great button sometimes! That particular account was driving me crazy all during the holidays it was just like a campaign for body shaming and I was like, “OMG stop this is not making me want to know you!” Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. February 10, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    I see these posts and then chicks who are 1/2 naked and looking mad sexy all the time. I just take it all with a grain of salt and honestly don’t let it soak in. You never know what’s photoshopped and what’s not these days… And everyone has the power to say and/or post whatever they want… So perhaps I shall go post a 1/2 nude photo of myself right now??? LMFAO – um, no.

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 4:51 pm

      Hahaha you are too funny!

  4. February 10, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    EW! I would definitely unfollow fat-shaming posters! There really is no place for that kind of negativity in my life. I also unfollow people that post lots of overly provocative pics…like no, just please don’t do that to a dumbell. Haha!

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 4:52 pm

      Haha yeah, I totally hear that! I’m all about loving your body, but just don’t LOVE your body on social media, pls. 🙂

  5. February 10, 2015 / 7:00 pm

    I’m with everyone else. I never achieved anything out of someone making me feel bad about it. I don’t think being fat is the worst thing, I think being unhealthy, stuck in a rut, or bored is the worst thing.

    I like following some instagram accounts of people who I think are really amazing in fitness, but they just post themselves, not things that are detrimental or negative towards others.

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 7:07 pm

      I think any time the intention is to put other down, you’ve lost me. I think if you work hard on your health and want to show it, fine. I think there are some photos that go overboard at times lol.

      I labor under the opinion that anybody who is proud of their body should be able to show it and be supported regardless of what end of the weight spectrum they are at. Also, at the end of the day, being a mean or cruel is always way more offensive than any photo I’ve ever seen. 🙂

  6. February 10, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    I have definitely seen some social media memes that grind my gears but I TRY to take them with a grain of salt. They still get to me though… and, if it’s really bad, I’m all for the “unfollow” button.

    Totally agree with you on this: “You can’t build yourself up by tearing others down.” Building each other up and encouraging one another is the only way to motivate! #fitfam

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 7:52 pm

      Gotta love the #fitfam for sure, Amy. It’s nice to know that everyone is saying they don’t let it get to them too badly. I just think sometimes it’s really in such bad taste some of the “motivational” memes out there! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. February 10, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    Being married twice has really taught me you have to learn to take EVERYTHING with a grain of salt!I have never believed that beating a person up is a way to motivate them- I don’t think it works!

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      I’m a newlywed myself, Mary Beth, so I will remember your words as I go lol!

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      I totally agree. Old school as it is, if you can’t say (or post) anything nice, don’t at all! 🙂

  8. February 10, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    So so powerful! I guess that since it is much easier to hide behind a screen then word vomit comes much easier too! You can’t really “see” the impacts of those messages. Not everybody will understand them in the same way and that is were the hurt starts.

    • Erin
      Author
      February 10, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      Bullying is born from cowardice and you’re right, it is so much easier to sit behind a computer and say hurtful things or make cruel memes. We really do need to take it all with a grain of salt and for what it is, nonsense! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Elsie!

  9. February 10, 2015 / 11:26 pm

    You make such great points. I never really realized just HOW BAD posts like that are. Thanks for helping me better understand…not that I would ever post something like those, but I didn’t stop to think how degrading and negative they were. Thanks Erin! You are a tremendous motivator!

    • Erin
      Author
      February 11, 2015 / 1:25 am

      Thanks, Jessica! You’re SUPER positive and motivating! Our #fitfam is super motivating and it’s only outside of it that I ever see these messages happening. I wish I had more time to write something specific up for this week’s linkup, but all these amazing posts have given me so much to think about!

  10. February 11, 2015 / 3:02 am

    I usually take things like this with a grain of salt, but sometimes things go too far and are offensive. Thanks for raising this issue and helping us think about what we’re posting.

    • Erin
      Author
      February 11, 2015 / 11:50 am

      Thanks, Whitney! I take most of it with a grain of salt but I definitely go with my gut reaction with some of it and just cannot believe what I’m seeing. Thanks so much for commenting!

  11. February 11, 2015 / 3:27 am

    Body shaming annoys me to no end! One of the things I’ve been seeing more and more semi-recently that upsets me is the “real women are curvy” thing–I’m all for self-love and being body-positive, but I really, really dislike it when it shames other body types whilst doing so. :[

    • Erin
      Author
      February 11, 2015 / 11:51 am

      Yes, Farrah! I think that it’s starting to really be across the board, and I definitely don’t want my opinion on this to be only toward the “fit” side of the spectrum. Body acceptance on all levels is what we need, and to focus on a healthy relationship with our bodies regardless of size or any other characteristic! You’re so right!

  12. February 11, 2015 / 10:33 am

    I take them with a grain of salt but I also know that social media messages can be very harmful. Great post Erin! Your message resonates with many! Thanks for sharing with the #fitfam!

    • Erin
      Author
      February 11, 2015 / 11:52 am

      Thanks Jill! There’s such a fine line with so many of these messages, but being aware of it is key! Thanks for reading! #Fitfam love!

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